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Car & General shifts gears into electric vehicles business

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Power supply for electric car charging. PHOTO | POOL

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Summary

  • The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm has been selling motorcycles and three-wheelers with internal combustion engines for decades as part of its diversified operations that include consumer credit.
  • The global shift to electric mobility is expected to impact local motor vehicle dealers and motorists, with scores of automakers and governments announcing they will completely phase out diesel and petrol-powered vehicles by 2040.

Car and General (C&G) #ticker:CGEN will start selling electric vehicles and tuk-tuks as part of a plan to diversify into the ‘green’ mobility business that is expected to grow amid a push to address climate change and pollution.

The Nairobi Securities Exchange-listed firm has been selling motorcycles and three-wheelers with internal combustion engines for decades as part of its diversified operations that include consumer credit.

“We will now be focusing more energy on electric vehicles and we intend to launch electric three-wheelers in February. We are working hard with our suppliers to develop fit-for-market two-wheelers,” C&G said in a statement.

“With our symbiotic relationship with Watu Credit, we can play a significant role in transforming the two-wheeler and three-wheeler market towards electric. This will play a positive role in alleviating climate change over the coming years.”

The global shift to electric mobility is expected to impact local motor vehicle dealers and motorists, with scores of automakers and governments announcing they will completely phase out diesel and petrol-powered vehicles by 2040.

Kenya does not manufacture vehicles or motorcycles and only assembles some of the models. This means that dealers and consumers will automatically join the shift to electric transport.

Besides the promise of clean transport, the transition could also reduce the cost of operating vehicles and motorcycles as charging batteries will be the key cost item.

Internal combustion automobiles have additional costs such as service where several consumables including oil, filters and other fluids are changed depending on the frequency recommended by the manufacturers.

Kenya has already attracted several start-ups seeking to ride the anticipated electric mobility wave. They include BasiGo, Kiri, and Opibus.

Ride-hailing firm NopeaRide runs a fleet of fully electric cars in the capital Nairobi where a few malls and private parking operators have installed charging zones.

Electricity distributor Kenya Power has also announced plans to target the shift to electric with charging points across the country.

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